Thursday, February 28, 2013

Penguins Game 21 Recap - Hurricanes 4, Penguins 1

-This was very similar to the kind of game they played in Florida only this time the Penguins PK was able to hold their opposition off the board but still were down 4-1. This time the Penguins weren't able to make any kind of comeback and the Hurricanes really took them to task and earned a really strong two points from the Penguins. The Penguins lost back-to-back games for the third time this season. Sad times. -The Penguins showed some flashes of solid play but for much of the game they looked out of their element and seemed as if they had their sights on something else other than the hockey game. Carolina was physical with the Penguins defense, especially Kris Letang, and it looked like it made the Penguins a little tentative on the backend and could have forced them into a few pretty brutal turnovers. -Speaking of Mr. Letang he looked pretty lost for much of the game. Letang has been on a sort of roller coaster ride so far this season and tonight was one of those down games, especially on the power play. As I said above Letang was getting hit pretty hard and he looked like it bothered him a bit as the game went on. On the power play he just doesn't look comfortable. It looks like he is trying to force himself to be a puck distributer rather than just letting his talent play. Not really sure how you fix that but the power play hasn't been the same since Evgeni Malkin went out with his concussion. That is a pretty small sample size but there weren't many good chances created the last couple of games. -Simon Despres needs to be back in the lineup. Nothing more really needs to be said there. -One of the lone bright spots on the night was the Chris Kunitz goal. The feed from Sidney Crosby was filthy and Kunitz was there to finish the job. Honestly when Bing was coming down the far wall I knew he was going to try the cross rink pass and I thought to myself "no way he gets that pass through." All Crosby did was get the pass through in a perfect spot for Kunitz to burry it. Ho hum. -Marc-Andre Fleury was really good tonight. Sure, he gave up four goals on 29 shots but he was very good all game. The defense was brutal in front of him and off the top of my head MAYBE one of the goals he really should have stopped but just in the first period he saved about four goals. Did the best he could in a bad situation. -The Penguins hit a total of three posts. James Neal missed a wide open net late. I know it seems like I say things like "it's just one of those nights" but tonight it was just one of them nights. The effort wasn't there for the complete game but in the NHL today it is going to take a solid effort and some luck here and there. By no means did they deserve to win this game tonight but it would have been nice for one of those goals to go in to make the game more interesting.

-Have I said the power play was really bad tonight? Yikes.

-The Penguins are now 13-8-0 and stuck on 26 points with a really tough game in Montreal on Saturday night. While things aren't ideal right now for our favorite team things could be a lot worse. The Penguins have some obvious problems with consistency but pretending like they are the only team in the league with problems would be way off base. Do I think they Penguins have to play better if they want to have a chance to win the Stanley Cup? Yea. Do I think that this isn't a playoff team even if they drop their game on Saturday to Montreal? No. Maybe I am just way too optimistic but the team will go through their ups and down and just as sure as they won five of six games a week ago they will lose multiple games in a row. It happens.

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